CSADD Video Breaks the Silence of Domestic Abuse
Story Number: NNS121017-19
By Sue Krawczyk, Training Support Center Great Lakes Public Affairs
GREAT LAKES, Ill. (NNS) -- The Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD), Great Lakes Chapter at Training Support Center (TSC), Great Lakes, released a domestic violence prevention video on Facebook Oct. 12.
The video, "Domestic Abuse Prevention," was created to help victims recognize the signs of abuse and to seek help through resources available on base.
"We're trying to show the mask that represents what people who are victims of domestic abuse go through," said Fire Control Technician Seaman Apprentice Joshua Angulo, one of the film's creators. "The victims remain silent and wear an emotional mask because they are trying to hide what's really happening."
Angulo, along with four other students, spent about four weeks creating, filming and editing the video.
"It wasn't uncomfortable, but trying to come up with the dialogue while portraying someone actually in that situation was difficult," said Fire Control Technician Seaman Samantha Burell, who portrays the victim in the video. "I had to put myself in such a mindset and figure out what somebody like that would think."
In the video, Burrell's character is seen getting dressed in the morning as she readies to face her shipmates on base. Before she heads out the door, she covers her mouth with a photo of a smiling mouth in an attempt to mask her emotional distress and fear at the hands of her abusive boyfriend.
Her boyfriend in the video is portrayed by Fire Controlman Seaman Vincent Liupaono, who is seen verbally abusing her through yelling and ordering her to not go out with friends.
At one point, Burrell is seen with a black eye before she picks up a card she finds that contains contact information for a domestic abuse victim advocate (DAVA) and she takes the first step by calling the number.
Janice Brown, DAVA, Great Lakes Fleet and Family Support Center, Great Lakes, believes that when it comes to domestic violence prevention and awareness, education is empowerment.
"As long as you make people aware and give them tools to let them know there are resources available to them, they will come forth," Brown said. "We do get an influx of people coming in, experiencing abuse, and we have even seen more men acknowledging they are experiencing abuse as well."
Brown goes on to explain that on the flipside of that, there's always a number of people who will not come forth for a variety of reasons stemming from religious beliefs to fear of getting their military member in trouble.
"A lot of the victims will suffer in silence as they might not want to report the abuse because they may believe it will have a reverse effect on their loved one's military career," Brown said.
Seeking the assistance from DAVA is beneficial to the victims because DAVA has the military experience and knowledge than do the civilian victim advocates.
"We promote our resources available on this base because there are personnel within the command that will send their personnel to the civilian community for assistance," Brown said. "That's not a bad thing; however, it's not a productive thing because that person misses out on the valuable resources here because the civilian resources may not be aware of the all nuances of military environment and support they can receive here."
Angulo explained that family and friends may not always be able to tell when abuse is occurring to someone they know because of the emotional mask the victim wears.
"The point of this video is to have them take off the mask and tell somebody, that's why we have the card here, so we can hand them out," Angulo said, referring to wallet-sized informational cards placed at various locations on base.
There are emotional and physical signs victims may display that friends and loved ones should be made aware. Obvious physical signs of abuse include visible bruises or black eyes.
"Emotional signs can stem from a victim being fearful if a friend is over and the victim suddenly needs to have the friend leave because the offender came home. Many victims don't work because the offender will not allow them to do so," Brown said.
She adds that a victim who used to be very extroverted is now very introverted. Victims rarely talk about anything relative to their relationship. They will also hang up the phone quickly because the offender suddenly came in, or they are afraid of the offender catching them texting on the phone.
"Also, a victim spends a lot of time in isolation as the offender is taking up all their time by not allowing the victim to go places," Angulo added. "A victim might also try to put the blame on their self and try to make it seem like it's their own fault of the offender's behavior."
While friends and the video can let victims know what resources are available, Brown says it is ultimately the victim that must seek out help.
"No matter how many victims you try to encourage to come forth, it still has to be his or her decision to do that simply because you don't want to get role of trying to control them. That is what abuse is about - control," Brown said.
Helping to complete the video was Fire Control Technician Seaman Apprentice Jesse Shelton who assisted with filming and editing, and Fire Control Technician 3rd Class Abrianna Roth who portrayed Burrell's friend.
"It's a huge issue that's going on, otherwise, they wouldn't have asked us to do it," Burrell said. "That's one of the things I like about CSADD is that we can help with important issues on and off base; things that are going in people's lives we can pitch in and assist."
The Great Lakes Fleet and Family Support Center is located in Bldg. 26, across from USO. DAVA can be reached at 847-688-3603, ext. 123 or 139.
To view the video, visit https://www.facebook.com/TrainingSupportCenterGreatLakes#!/photo.php?v=485038524853284.
For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.